public beaches and pools.

As a recent convert to the Roman Catholic Church I have learned a lot about the " THE NEAR OCCASION OF SIN " and it occurs to me that a man of normal drives and appetites should avoid all contact with areas of public bathing. Beaches and pools.

Am I correct?

It depends.

Seeing and being attracted to a beautiful person of the opposite sex in a bathing suit is not necessarily a sin.

It’s a sin when you begin to lust for that person and lust means desiring to have sex with them for your own pleasure and dwelling on the possibility of having that opportunity, which you would take if you had the chance.

Lust is an extension of the ego onto the other person. It disregards the person and objectifies them for the purpose of erotic sex.

Being attracted to the opposite sex is not lust.

So, if you can’t go to the beach without giving into lust, then don’t go, but seek help to find away to control yourself.


Thank you Jim.

Well said! :slight_smile:

Certainly not a Catholic teaching given the number of youth ministry trips I’ve been on where we went swimming. However, if one finds that those locations are a major problem area for you than you might need to avoid them. I think it is important to note that lust and attraction are not synonymous. You can notice a pretty girl in a bathing suit is attractive, but when you start to fantasize about her is when you are in sinful territory.

I avoid public beaches and pools. My friends have a rule at their house: Everybody in the pool wears t-shirts and shorts- no bare chests or underwear bottoms. Modesty works both ways.


Good advise WingsofEagles.

Atassina, I think you and I have the same notion.

Good for them !!! You bet it does !!! When dressed immodestly, one can be the cause of another’s sin. God Bless, Memaw

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-Our women dress in fancy underwear at beaches and pool. They are under enormous social pressure. The spirit of this age demands complete submission.

-Men also must dress modestly as well as women.

-Semi-nudity has crept into our churches. As if the way we dress has no bearing on others or ourselves.

-People wear clothes. Animals wear nothing. Public nudity is a way of returning to being animals and denying our humanity.

-The thighs are the area of erotic activity. Why are we showing thighs in public?

-Immodest is the revealing of the mystery of the inner person. Why not use them as a thing if that is the way they present themselves? People who want to be successful do not dress that way at work. Why in public or church?

-Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. CCC 2521

Everyone has a right to put forth rules in their own homes. But I disagree that this should be any kind of universal or general rule for Christians. I would find it ridiculous to have to wear a shirt in a pool, as if the very sight of my bare chest would scandalize everyone. No, it is natural and not inherently sinful in any way. In fact, if we were more mature, nudity would not be a problem, and in fact, it is not in other cultures. The problem is we sexualize everything.

I agree that, given the level of maturity in our society, both women and men should wear modest swimsuits, trunks, etc. But a man’s chest does not have the sexual connotation that woman’s chest has in our society. And I see no reason why men must wear shirts in a pool or beach for “modesty”. That to me is going to far and in fact, sexualizing and making taboo a perfectly non-sexual, normal thing.

The real world is full of temptation. To stay away from the beach because of temptation would be to deprive yourself of one of God’s creations due to undue fear. Yes, I have seen many women in “immodest” bikinis, etc… Maybe I have even felt lust for them… but I quickly push the thought away and enjoy the healthy joys of the beach with my friends. And frankly, I find that occasions of lust are few and far in-between if one is focused in the moment and enjoying the sun, the sand, the water and the company of friends. No sinfulness there.

We are not puritans.

Agree with this. I find one piece suits, or more modest two-piece suits, much more “suitable”

Agreed. But modesty in men and in women are manifested in different ways.

Agreed. Though I suppose its better that these people are in church than not in church, even if they are ignorant of their immodesty

Were Adam and Eve immodest? Did they deny their humanity? Public nudity has its place and is not inherently sinful. It becomes sinful only when it becomes lustful and sexual.

The whole body is an “area of erotic activity”. The ankles were considered highly sexual and immodest before. I’m not saying there are no boundaries. I am saying that that is kind of arbitrary. It’s not about a part of the body, it’s about the reactions and temptations they would cause in our given society. I find nothing overtly-sexual about a woman in regular-sized shorts.



Adam and Eve were pure and innocent until they sinned and then God dressed them immediately !!! Public nudity in our society has no place at all. We can’t even compare us today with those of natives that are not yet aware of God and His Divine Son. God Bless, Memaw

A modest bathing suit does not qualify as public nudity.


Most people in the First World dress according to the weather. There’s always a few people though who are out to get attention by flaunting themselves.

I think in these cases it depends on you yourself. If it’s really that much of a distraction (and it may justifyably be for some) then I think these folks need to be talking to their confessor about when and what is sinful.

I don’t know that people really shouldn’t be expected to wear clothes when swimming, because that actually makes it more dangerous.

You ought to see how many outdoorsmen die from drowning in swamps because they wear chest waders and get stuck.


Certainly, in one’s own backyard, one can make the rules. But that doesn’t mean that those rules are good for the entire Church.

What is perfect for one family is not always perfect for another.

Thank you I had the same question

We have family type beaches and pools too, where a modest approach to swimwear is popular. But you have to find them.:shrug:

I didn’t say it did. Modesty is not nudity!!! God Bless, Memaw

Maybe I misinterpretted, but you seemed to agree with the poster whose neighbor makes everyone wear shorts and tee-shirts in the pool…

Yes I believe so. Mixed bathing between men and women was practiced in the pagan world but as I understand, became unacceptable in Christian countries… Until fairly recently. But that doesn’t make it right. Its a near occasion of sin, and I also found this quote:

Cardinal Pla y Daniel, Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, stated in 1959: “A special danger to morals is represented by public bathing at beaches… Mixed bathing between men and women, which is nearly always a proximate occasion of sin and a scandal, must be avoided.”

I also spoke to my.priest about this topic before in the confessional and he said that the types of clothing worn at the beach are very immodest. “Context” is not a valid argument in this case I think. Just because its near water rather than somewhere else, doesn’t turn off concupiscence.

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